Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Damosel: In Which the Lady of the Lake Renders a Frank and Often Startling Account of her Wondrous Life and Times” as Want to Read:
Damosel: In Which the Lady of the Lake Renders a Frank and Often Startling Account of her Wondrous Life and Times
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Damosel: In Which the Lady of the Lake Renders a Frank and Often Startling Account of her Wondrous Life and Times

3.09 of 5 stars 3.09  ·  rating details  ·  152 ratings  ·  46 reviews
WATER SPIRIT DAMOSEL, the Lady of the Lake, glides through Arthurian legend like a glamorous wraith, shimmering and shifting between the worlds of fairies and humans. Her knowledge is vast (magic, metal, men’s hearts) and leads to her greatest honor—and worst mistake. Damosel makes a promise to the wizard Merlin to protect young King Arthur, and then dares to break it—with ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2008)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Damosel, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Damosel

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 427)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Damned if I don't absolutely love this cover.
This is the Arthurian legend from the fresh perspective of the Lady of the Lake and a 17 year old dwarf named Twixt. Chapters alternate between the first person narratives of the two. Damosel provides the magical perspective in a world that is rapidly losing its magic and Twixt provides 1st person perspective from Arthur's court where he resides as court jester. Set in 6th century Britain this retains the historical elements of the Arthurian legend as well as keeping it magical. I loved it and r ...more
I really loved the first five chapters of this book - I would give them five stars for excellence in style, content, characterisation and setting. The first five chapters show Damosel, a water spirit, in her natural element, and I found this fascinating.

After that the story introduces a second protagonist, the dwarf Twixt. Both protagonists tell their stories in first person and I found the two perspectives didn't gel or complement each other at all well for me. Additionally, from this point Dam
Amanda Trevino
big vocabulary words but overall a book that kept my attention! haha
It’s not often that I just don’t know what to make of a book, that I just don’t get it. But that is how I feel about Damosel. It is a story of Arthur, Guenivere, Lancelot, etc. told from the perspective of Damosel – the Lady of the Lake, and Twixt - a court dwarf and jester.

The writing is excellent. At two hundered pages, my original thought was that it is intended for a younger audience, but the word craft seemed geared toward adults.

The story of Arthur is told from a distance. Other people rel
Honestly, if this book hadn't been so short, I would have stopped reading it after the first twenty pages or so. Though I didn't, it took me a lot longer than it should have to read it, possibly because it was simply uninteresting. It tells the story of King Arthur from the point of view of the Lady of the Lake and a dwarf. Seems like a fine premise to me. Unfortunately, it does this in an incredibly boring way.

The Lady of the Lake spends most of her time away from court, so she only learns abou
The Lady of the Lake played a crucial role in the tale of the Great King Arthur. But what did she do when she wasn't helping the king? She did what others do, bide their time. She talked with her cousin and found a fellow whom she cared deeply for. She used magic and tried to right some wrongs. In this novel, you will get to read about The Lady of the Lake's life before and after she helped Arthur.

I love retellings, and while this isn't strictly speaking a retelling, it did toy with a character
Avalon-lite, is what this book is. Somehow Spinner managed to keep everything in - possible incest (Arthur/Morgan), technical rape (Uther/Igraine), prolonged infidelity (Gwen/Lance, of course) without making it one jot less a young person's book. I mean to say, she just mentioned it in passing and went on. The whole story is here, really, starting with Arthur claiming Excalibur and going on all the way to his "death," but told in chunks, from two different outside viewpoints, so it all goes by v ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Damosel plays by the rules.

The Lady of the Lake creates the sword Excalibur for Merlin's new champion. Damosel doesn't like crowds, so when she receives an invitation to Camelot, she sends her cousin, Nimue, instead.

Nimue craves power and she finds herself drawn to Merlin. When Merlin teaches her a powerful spell, she traps him in a cave with magic.

With Merlin out of the picture, Camelot could be in serious danger. Damosel finds Merlin and promi
Liss Capello
Eh. I am a fan of YA fiction, but I hold it to the same standards as any other kind of fiction, and this was possibly the most toothless, uninspiring rendition of the tale of King Arthur as I have ever encountered. The basic framework of the story has been told to death, but there are interesting re-envisionings of it... this wasn't one of them. I read it thinking that the choice of heroine (the ambiguous, un-elaborated-upon Lady of the Lake) would offer a unique perspective, but the framework o ...more
Lacey Louwagie
So, this is hands down the most boring retelling of Arthurian legend I've ever read. It didn't even hit 200 pages, and it took me six weeks to read. I spent a lot of the book wondering why someone had even written it. It doesn't really bring anything new to the Arthurian legend except the first instance in which a court jester has played a part in the story (I think). Although the author's intent in writing this was to make sense of the Lady of the Lake's rather ambiguous role, it would have bee ...more
Fabulous. Not everyone's cup-of-tea, but I loved the diction, the tone, and how well thought out each moment is.

I spent close to an hour trying to re-find this book so I could read it again, because I absolutely adore it. Right up there with Knight Life as one of the best fictional Arthurian Stories.
I thoroughly enjoyed this rendition of the tale of the lady who crafted and delivered Excalibur to Arthur. Actually, this is more Arthur's story, told in the snippets that would be privy to this "Lady" and a second surprise narrator. I love that the narrator's voices have the FEEL of the times. This is a quick and entertaining read and very true to the legends. I was hoping the person who buys the young adult books for my library would purchase it, but it came via interlibrary loan instead, whic ...more
I am glad to have read this recent addition to the Arthurian literary collection. The strength of Spinner’s writing increases as the story progresses. There are characters of her own making and classic characters somewhat remolded for a fresh interpretation, although much of the story intersects with the common legends of Arthur. I enjoyed the brightness of the character of Damosel, Lady of the Lake. Spinner’s style of writing early in the book captures the young woman with a modern voice, and a ...more
Damosel is the Lady of the Lake. She accepts Merlin's challenge to forge Excaliber, and to watch over Arthur when he is imprisoned by her sly cousin, Nimue. There are also some bits about a Dwarf.

I was dissapointed by this book. I really was expecting more. It read like an introductory manual to the world of King Arthur. The moral was pretty simple- "learn the rules before you break them, which makes you happy but will probably cause some major screw up IE failing Camelot." The Lady's narration
I found this story to be quite underdeveloped, I wanted to love it but found myself yearning for more.
Caitlín (Ink Mage)
I liked this better once I realized that there were two narrators and not just a mental author, but it still wasn't that good. Damosel's story was mainly her hearing stories about Arthur, so it told the legend (and of course the most common one of Guinevere and Lancelot's love, and Mordred and Morgan le Fay's betrayal) in a slightly different way.
I would rather that it have been a more original story about the Lady of the Lake, and only have her part in the giving of Excalibur being mentioned in
This is a very interesting idea for a story, but it didn't keep my attention. About 1/4 of the way in, I was forcing myself to keep going. By the time I was 1/2 way in, I had skipped several pages several times, hoping I would get more interested in the story. But I didn't. So I'm done forcing myself to keep reading. I didn't really know anything about the Lady of the Lake in the King Arthur legends, other than she was in them. And after reading 1/2 of this book, I still don't really know much a ...more
Rarely do I have cause to dislike an Arthurian book, but this was a real dissapointment. It was not so much unlikeable as lifeless. The only characters that came to life at all were Nimue, Sir Tor, and Pelleas. It's a sad novel where all of your central protagonists are flat and boring, and to make the villian, Mordred of all people, dull is just adding insult to injury.

Could easily be given a miss.
There's a lot of wit in this book - I'm not sure some of the other readers have a sense of humor. Although earmarked for young adults, it may require an extra allotment of sophistication from the reader.

DAMOSEL is full of startling images and imaginative takes on a familiar legend. The immediacy of the narrations makes the distant past very immediate.

Miss Clark
Well, neat idea. Nothing much done with it. I would have been far more interested in more about the Ladies of the Lakes and their society and existence and instead we are forced to deal with a paltry retelling of Arthur's tragic story and ugh, did we really need another one of those? No, no we did not. Not recommneded unless you are a Camelot/Arthurian die hard.
Spinner's version of the Arthurian legend is slight and ethereal. A reader with no previous knowledge of the stories is going to have a very hard time piecing together characters and motivations. Narrative duties are shared with Twixt, a dwarf, which adds nothing to the tale. Important events are often related second-hand, robbing them of impact.
Leah Horlick
This had the potential to be so good, and had a great opening chapter. And then things went downhill. Downhill into boring Arthurian land of zero character development. About halfway through, Damosel loses all her wits and falls blindly in love with a boring knight, and a boring epilogue details exactly what bitter ends everyone in the legend meets. Alas.
This book, meant for teens, is a great read for any adult who hankers for new nuggets of the Arthur Legend. Who wouldn't like to know more about the creature who furnished the King his sword? Author Spinner obviously researched well and, there is no doubt, the reader will keep turning pages for her tale well told!
I'm not giving it two star because I thought it was an exceptionally horrible book, I'm giving it one star because it was an exceptionally boring book. I couldn't even finish it, and I am some one who almost always finish's books. I really was hoping to get hooked, but on chapter five, I just gave up.
I enjoy Stephanie Spinner's writing. It just felt to far removed from the action for the POV to be the Lady of the Lake. I enjoyed Twixt, and by the end was in love with his character. A reading of Le Morte D'Arthur before reading this book as prior knowledge of the events comes in handy.
I have mixed feelings on this. I liked it well enough, and it was certainly an easy read, but I feel like it could've been... more. I love the premise - that the Lady of the Lake has certain 'rules' and 'rituals' and what not, but I just feel like it should've been fleshed out a great deal more.
Read this book with Alex. It was good...the story of King Arthur told from the Lady of the Lake's perspective. It's written in a slightly confusing style...switching from one story teller to another rather abruptly. Took us a few chapters to figure it out, but then it was fine.
I was not overly impressed. Although I think it would be a good story for a ten year old...I felt that it would have been better if the author had not attempted an overview of Malory, but instead had focused on one interesting story and drawn that out.
When I picked the book up I was excited, but when I put it down I was disappointed. Too bad. There have definitely been better re-tellings of the King Arthur legend.

Also, what is this about the author inventing Nimue?
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Gawain and Lady Green (Merlin's Harp, #2)
  • The Mammoth Book of Merlin
  • Twilight of Avalon (Twilight of Avalon, #1)
  • Isolde, Queen of the Western Isle (Tristan and Isolde, #1)
  • Arthur High King of Britain
  • The Idylls of the Queen: A Tale of Queen Guenevere
  • Prince of Dreams: A Tale of Tristan and Esyllte
  • Merlin and the Making of the King
  • Lancelot
  • Gil Marsh
  • Mad Merlin
  • Merlin's Bones
  • The Book of Nonsense (Sacred Books, Volume I)
  • The Book of Mordred
  • Knight Life (Modern Arthur, #1)
  • The King's Damosel
  • Guinevere (Guinevere, #1)
I was born in Davenport, Iowa, and grew up in Rockaway Beach, New York. I read straight through my childhood, with breaks for food, sleep, and the bathroom. I went to college in Bennington, Vermont, moved to New York City, and took a job in publishing so I could get paid for reading. I read so much bad fiction that I needed a break, so I moved to London, and from there I traveled to Morocco, Iran, ...more
More about Stephanie Spinner...
Quiver Quicksilver Alex the Parrot: No Ordinary Bird: A True Story Aliens for Breakfast Who Was Annie Oakley?

Share This Book